2 Peter 1:7 “Add to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love.”
Peter urges the saints to add agape love to their human affectionate love (philadelphia). This kind of love is precious, but if we are going to continue to grow in the Lord we must add agape love. We will walk in this love as we mature in Christ and allow Him more and more to live His life through us. There are other Scriptures that also urge us to move on from phileo to agape love.
1 Thessalonians 4:9, “But as touching brotherly love (philadelphia), ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love (agape) one another.”
1 Peter 1:22, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth…unto unfeigned love of the brethren (philadelphia), see that ye love (agape) one another with a pure heart fervently.”
Let’s keep searching to see what this agape love is like, the love that God wants us to add to our lives.
“Love edifies.” (1 Corinthians 8:1; Ephesians 4:16) Love does not pull down. It builds up. Agape love will build up and encourage your husband even when all you can see are faults. Love will look beyond the faults and find good things to affirm and encourage. Agape love will delight to build up and encourage each one of your children.
“Abound in love one toward another…” (1 Thessalonians 3:12) Agape love is not average love. It is not even a “full to the top” love. It is “flowing over the top” love! The word Greek word, abound is perisseuo. It is an amazing word. It means to 'super-abound, to be excessive, to excel, to increase, to have enough and to spare. This reminds me of something I read years ago, “If a little bit of love isn’t effective, increase the dose.” A little bit of love is not enough for many situations. You can only have the victory with massive amounts of love. It takes abounding love that overflows. (2 Corinthians 8:7; Philippians 1:9; 1 2 Thessalonians 1:3)
Oh the bliss of comforting love. (Philippians 2:1-2)
Knitting Together Love
Agape love has the power to knit cold and estranged hearts together. (Colossians 2:2)
Love is not just a nice feeling. We prove our love by working hard to bless those we love and choose to love. Paul calls it a “labor of love” in 1 Thessalonians 1:3. Be encouraged. When you feel worn out because you have been working so hard to care for your family, remember that your hard work is a labor of love! Work is love; and love is work! And it is not in van. God notices. Hebrews 6:10 says, “God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” We can also be encouraged from ` John 3:18, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” The word deed means ‘to toil’. This is how we show our love. By toiling and laboring hard for those we love. The Knox translation says, “Let us show our love by the true test of action…” We could also call it “actionary love.” It is not just words, but actions.
1 Timothy 1:5 talks of “love flowing from a pure heart, from a good conscience.” (1 Peter 1:22)
“Be ye kind to one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32) Love is not love that does not forgive. Even when Jesus faced the greatest abuse that any human could endure, He said, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
1 Peter 1:22 tells us to “love one another with a pure heart, fervently.” Also read 1 Peter 4:8. Other translations help us to understand more of what fervently means—heartily, intensely, earnestly, deeply from the heart, wholeheartedly with all your strength, as if your lives depended upon it.”
Never Giving Up Love
We see this love revealed in Jesus when it says in John 13:1, “having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” We can start loving someone, but when they become difficult, defiant or refuse to receive love, it is tempting to give up. Natural love easily gives up. It is only agape love that keeps on loving until the end, no matter what.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
“Lord, please help me to move into the realm of living in agape love. I don’t want to have a meager ration, but to be overflowing with your love which never runs out. Amen.”
Many women like to save these devotions. They print them out and keep them in a folder to read over and over again. Some print them out and pin them on the fridge with a magnet to read through the week.
If you have missed the previous devotion in this series, go to the Above Rubies web page, www.aboverubies.org where you will be able to pick it up under Previous Devotions.